Samsung won't follow HTC's lead, settle Apple patent dispute


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Samsung Electronics said Wednesday it has no plan to settle its ongoing patent disputes with Apple, declining to follow in the footsteps of HTC, the Android device maker that reached a patent licensing agreement with Apple last week.

JK Shin, the head of Samsung's mobile unit, told reporters his firm has "no intention at all" of negotiating with the iPhone maker on patent lawsuits that have taken place across ten countries for over a year. Shin made the comment at an impromptu question-and-answer session in front the Samsung office in Seoul after a meeting, according to a company spokesman.

Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC sealed a cross-licensing deal with Apple last Saturday, under which the companies license one another their current and future patents for the next ten years. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Despite speculation that the Apple-HTC deal could be a sign that global patent conflicts are calming down, analysts said Samsung has little to gain from such a settlement.

"Samsung has nothing to lose for the upcoming Galaxy models, it's smart enough to circumvent all the (patent infringement) legal issues," said Marcello Ahn, an analyst with Nomura who is based in Seoul.

Samsung's Shin also answered a question about the possible use of flexible OLED displays in the next version of its Galaxy S smartphone, saying "the technology has not matured."

Organic LED displays have pixels that emit their own light, removing the need for a backlight and allowing a thinner screen with less power consumption.

Samsung is in the final phases of developing flexible displays for mobile devices, which include plastic screens that are bendable and more durable than current glass versions. The South Korean company showed the technology at the last Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

But no specific time frame for commercial release has been set, said Nathan Kim, spokesman for Samsung Display, a sister company of Samsung Electronics.

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